Our Scripture today comes from James 4:1-8. “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have.  You murder and covet and cannot obtain.  You fight and war.  Yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.  Adulterers and adulteresses!!! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace.  Therefore He says:  “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
 Funny how truly conversational the beginning of this set of verses is.  Asking where the wars and fights come from?  Have you ever taken into consideration what the root of your arguments with siblings and family come from?  Or what about a neighbor?  Have you ever argued or fought with a neighbor about mowing their grass or something?  Why does it say we have these wars and fights?  Because we “lust” and do not have.  No matter how many battles there are, how much territory is gained, how many people are killed or emotionally damaged, it will not satisfy us or be enough.
 We have because we do not ask! Humble yourself and ask for what it is that you want or need.  Realize that you are NOT in control of your own destiny but that God is the giver and keeper of all things good. Why else would we not get what we may be asking for?  Because our hearts are not in the right place.  We wear so many masks that sometimes we get to a point that we just do not know even what the honest foundation or truest desires of our hearts are!  When we ask we need to be REAL.  Be TRUE.  Don’t ask only for our selfish reasons and outcomes but that God would be blessed and honored with our request and that He would be glorified!  God is not our gift horse.
 God is a jealous god.  He created us to fellowship with Him.  He does not want to share loyalties with anyone or anything else.  It touches my heart and makes my heart smile when he says “But He gives more grace”.  We need not be concerned about humbling ourselves as He gives us more grace and is more willing to help and give to those who are humble rather than just reaching out to help those who are proud and arrogant and thinking that they don’t need help but can =do it all on their own. The relationships we maintain or even allow in our lives have an impact on our relationship with God.  We are not to live and be OF the world and part of the world and keeping close friends with people who have worldly views.  God wants us for His own.  When we allow the world to interfere with our relationship with God, several things happen.  We are driven away from Him.  Our time with Him is affected as well.  And do you know what else? Our fellowship with other believers. We do not want reminded of how far away we are so we cling to those who are of the world rather than those who are led by the Spirit.
 Listen to the soft progression that we need to follow in order that God will listen willingly.  Softly Submit.  Bow down and be quiet. Resist the devil. Don’t fight.  Let God be your defender.  Draw close to God.  Crawl into His lap and be still.  Allow your Heavenly Father to protect and provide for you.  Cleanse your hands.  Wash your hands of the wickedness of the world and set your minds in one direction.
 I pray for all of us that are believers that we will have the courage of Daniel in the coming days.  Stand for what you know is right and softly submit yourself so that you will be protected and provided for from His riches in glory.